The van Ameringen Foundation funds innovative and practical
programs for early intervention, advocacy, and increased
accessibility of mental health services for people and communities
with limited financial means and opportunities.
The van Ameringen Foundation was established by Arnold Louis van
Ameringen in 1950. Mr. van Ameringen found success as an
entrepreneur and business leader in the fragrance industry. He
contributed his wealth to addressing matters of mental illness. For
over 70 years, the van Ameringen Foundation has stayed true to this
mission, focusing on increasing access to mental health treatment,
particularly in New York City and Philadelphia. The Foundation is
an intergenerational family foundation that honors the legacy of
its founder, Arnold van Ameringen.
Do you believe in the power of philanthropy as a catalyst to
transform the mental health and well-being of individuals,
communities, and systems?
Do you derive satisfaction from helping others to realize
Do you feel a charge to connect people, resources, and ideas
for meaningful systemic change?
Do you have the finesse to serve as an exemplary external
spokesperson for the Foundation yet the grit to manage the
administrative matters of a leanly staffed
THE FOUNDATION’S VALUES
The van Ameringen Foundation fully embraces the founders’
philanthropic spirit, values, and passion, providing a vehicle for
future generations of the family to work together to strengthen
mental health services and systems.
First and foremost, the founder’s descendants are committed to
sustaining the founders’ philanthropic intention to intelligently
and compassionately distribute grants to impactful mental health
ABOUT THE FOUNDATION
The van Ameringen Foundation, founded in 1950, is a private
grantmaking foundation located in New York City. The Foundation
received its assets from Arnold Louis van Ameringen during his
lifetime and at his death in 1966 and from his widow, Hedwig van
Ameringen, during her lifetime and at her death in 1996.
From its inception, the Foundation has funded prevention,
education, and direct care in the mental health field, as well as
advocacy efforts to achieve systems change locally and
nationally. The emphasis continues to be on assisting people and
communities with limited resources and opportunities to access
preventive, early intervention, and effective mental health
treatment with a focus on the communities of New York City and
Philadelphia, where the family has its roots.
The Foundation is at an important point of development as it has
expanded its historically mostly direct service and targeted
grantmaking to include more grants to nonprofits committed to
The Foundation is currently governed by a board of nine
including six family members and three non-family
The Foundation is based in New York City, with a current staff
of two and an endowment of approximately $100 million. The
Foundation has a 2022 grant budget of $10 million.
Reporting primarily to the Board President as well as to the
Board of Directors, the Executive Director provides leadership for
the Foundation and will:
Governance and Board Relations
- Support the operation
and administration of the Foundation by advising and informing
Board members, interfacing between Board, family members, and
- Implement Board guidance
to the Foundation. In consultation with the Foundation’s legal
counsel, advise the President as required to keep Board activities
within the bounds of its bylaws and keep critical corporate
- Interpret and apply
laws, rules, and regulations applicable to the Foundation and, in
matters where reference to legal counsel is necessary, do so in
conjunction with the Board.
- Design, review, and
innovate operational policies, practices, and guidelines of the
Foundation, periodically presenting to the Board for input and
- Arrange and attend Board
and committee meetings/activities including preparing facilities
and agenda. Oversee materials development, implement Board
directives, and communicate with Board between meetings.
- Collaborate with the
Board and Board President in strategic planning and provide
professional input to establish objectives based on goals and
budget considerations agreed upon by the Board.
Program Leadership and Operation
- Implement the
Foundation’s mission and annual grantmaking goals/objectives within
- Provide overall
direction to grantmaking initiatives/strategy. Fine-tune and
implement grantmaking policies and procedures in conjunction with
the Foundation Board, as appropriate.
- Administer the
Foundation’s grantmaking program, including preparation of written
agendas, grant proposal reviews, site visits, and other matters
requiring the Foundation’s action.
- Develop, implement, and
oversee evaluation of funded programs; monitor progress of approved
grants and make periodic reports to the Foundation on funding
- Ensure timely payout of
- Provide information and
guidance, where needed, to grant seekers concerning the
Foundation’s programs, processes, and fields of
- Write acceptance letters
for President’s signature; sign decline letters.
- Collaborate with the
Board President on grantmaking, develop meeting agendas, and lead
the seamless administration of the Foundation.
- Ensure that appropriate
staff and policies are in place.
- Perform annual
evaluation of staff to assess performance and present compensation
recommendations to the Foundation’s Board of Directors.
- Ensure the Foundation
and its mission are consistently presented in strong, positive
images to relevant stakeholders.
- Continue professional
growth in the field of philanthropy by participating in events,
seminars, and conferences.
- Attend briefings,
symposiums, and meetings to remain informed and updated about the
mental health issues in the nonprofit and philanthropic
- Represent the Foundation
at grantee events.
- Participate in
partnerships and collaborative opportunities with other grantmakers
and nonprofit organizations, as appropriate.
- Supervise the
preparation of the annual report, content on the website, and other
communications and outreach activities.
IDEAL VALUES, EXPERIENCE, AND SKILLS
The Executive Director should be, have, or reflect the
- A caring leader with
humility and integrity driven by passion to help others and
unwavering commitment to promoting equity.
- Strength of character
and conviction to promote the values and mission of the Foundation
without being ego driven. Someone for whom the ownership of and/or
credit for ideas is less important than the collective results of
the process and effort.
- A record of
accomplishment in program development, strategic planning, and
financial management. Experience as a compassionate visionary with
proven ability to lead and facilitate strategically and manage an
- A values-driven and
mission-driven leader who views philanthropy as a catalyst for
community and systemic change.
- An unwavering work ethic
and commitment to excellence.
- A naturally consultative
and inclusive management style. A visionary with the maturity,
confidence, wisdom, and collaborative skills necessary to garner
the trust and confidence of the Board, family, staff, and grantee
- The emotional
intelligence to deal effectively with the Board, family, and,
externally, with grantees, community leaders, and
- A reflective and
- An active listener and
agile lifelong learner who is open to innovative ideas and can
think conceptually, critically, and strategically.
- An ability to lead by
example, bringing out the best in others.
- A focused leader able to
distill ideas and clarify issues; someone with a high degree of
- A strong record of
accomplishment as a motivator, collaborator, innovator, and
builder. A natural convener who can share, learn, and listen
effectively to build consensus and inspire strong, enduring
partnerships across diverse communities.
- Proven record as an
effective spokesperson with the appropriate level of finesse and
grace to represent the Foundation. The judgment to know when it is
best to speak on behalf of the Foundation and when it may be more
appropriate to have a family member speak. Strong writing
- Bachelor’s degree
required and graduate degree preferred.
The van Ameringen Foundation is
committed to an inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible work
environment, and further recognizes that diversity in its workforce
fosters excellence and is reflected in the Foundation’s
Nominations and applications
including cover letters and CVs should be submitted to the
attention of Paul Spivey at vanAmeringen@PhillipsOppenheim.com.